“Regulators should push health savings accounts (HSA) and businesses should offer them. While HSAs are growing, they are still only available to 30 percent of workers — more likely for larger companies than smaller ones. This, of course, is a way to help pay for extra medical costs almost always incurred under a high deductible health plan.
Perhaps a better option is to require all health insurance plans come with free primary care office visits. That can encourage patients to seek care earlier at lower costs (especially when compared to hospital emergency rooms or urgent care facilities, sites of choice if patients wait). One compelling example of this is when plans build in access to direct primary care.
In addition, we should advocate for price transparency at all levels and guide patients better on the “total cost” of their health care on an annual basis and not just the monthly premium cost.
High deductible health plans are not going away, but we can guide our community better to make costs transparent for better decision making.”
Ben Aiken is a family physician and health care executive.
He shares his story and discusses his KevinMD article, “High deductible health insurance is bankrupting Americans.”
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